Friday, February 10, 2012

Just One Person Removed From Mitt!

While not the 33,000 enrollment it has today, Brigham Young University had a large student body even back when I attended.  So I suspected it was a long shot when I got a call from a Washington Post reporter asking me for my recollections of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

Before I could jump to the conclusion that maybe someone does read this blog, a quick online search while we were talking confirmed that Mr. Romney and I were separated only by the name of my best friend, the late Bob Cardon in the 1971 BYU Yearbook listing of members of the Cougar Club, athletic booster group.71 cougar club

Mitt was president and the club wasn't large back then, but we had special seating together during games so I suspect we knew one another although more than forty years later I have no recollection of any member except Bob. All I could recall for the reporter was that both BYU and the Rocky Mountain West were certainly a lot more ideologically diverse back then than they seem to be today.

However, we were all united even then by the desire to beat Utah, a rivalry every bit as intense as Duke, located where I live now, and nearby Carolina!

The call brought back a flood of memories of Bob who moved to the mid-Atlantic South nearly two decades before I would when he landed a job in Washington DC at one of the big accounting firms after graduation. Bob flew up to join me during my first visit to New York City, a business trip in 1976, during which Tom Lucas, another friend from law school, who was studying tax at NYU, snapped a photo that is now haunting reminder of the World Trade Towers.

Bob and I stayed in touch, which was a bit unusual for either of us when it came to friends we left behind.  We first became acquainted year or two before I was married and I remember waking up in the wee hours each morning to the sound of Bob playing songs by The Ventures on his acoustic Gibson guitar in our shower where he could replicate the reverberations on songs such as Apache.

The next year he was a frequent visitor to our apartment on Center Street in Provo the site of an indelible memory of when he and I first heard the hit song Joy To The World by Three Dog Night on the radio.

Shortly after I was recruited to Durham in 1989, where I still live, Bob was diagnosed with cancer in the bone of one of his legs.  He fought the disease valiantly, including trips abroad for experimental treatments and then one day I received a call from his wife that he had lost that battle.

I still miss him and if he were alive I’d bet (but not $10,000) that he would remember Mitt.

Go Cougs!

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